Shaquille O’Neal and Joe Exotic might not be BFFs, but it seems the Lakers legend kept in touch with another breakout “Tiger King” star.
Earlier this month, Jeff Lowe — who took over the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park from Exotic — revealed on Facebook that O’Neal FaceTimed him after the Netflix docuseries premiered.
“One of the nicest guys in the World. Shaq facetime’d a few minutes ago to see how we were doing and if we need anything. We love you too buddy,” the post read from March 21.
In September 2018, Lowe also captioned a photo with O’Neal on Instagram: “Hey everyone, we’d like for you to meet our new business partner!! @shaq.”
Lowe, whose shady past was highlighted in the seven-episode series, also commented on the final product in a since-deleted message.
“Lauren and I just finished watching the ‘Tiger King.’ Overall, we think they did a good job,” the post read on social media, according to PopCulture.com. “A little sensationalism here and there, but for the most part it was a decent Readers Digest version, telling the story of a sick, twisted animal abuser. Joe Exotic.”
Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for a murder-for-hire plot on rival Carole Baskin. He’s also been accused of animal cruelty and is seeking a presidential pardon.
As for O’Neal, a fellow big cat enthusiast, he recently addressed his 2014 experience at the Oklahoma animal park on “The Big Podcast with Shaq.”
“Listen, people are going to make their own opinions, but, again, I was just a visitor,” Shaq said of Exotic after the NBA Hall of Famer appeared in the series briefly. “I met this guy — not my friend. Don’t know him. Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on.”